My son, Brian, is embarking upon the next phase of adulthood: fatherhood. That means I’m going to be a grandmother. Brian and the mother-to-be have already determined what my husband and I will be called: Nonna and Papa.

I prefer Nonna to Granny, so I’m not going to complain.

Having just celebrated (not really celebrated) my 58th birthday, I’m at the age when being a grandparent isn’t unusual and retirement looks better and better every day. However, I’m not quite ready for retirement.

A good bit of my weekdays is filled with hustling for work. Being freelance, I’m always hustling. I embody the hustle culture, even though I draw firm boundaries between work and personal life. I’m always on the lookout for new projects.

The desire, urge, or even need to continue working is imbued in my psyche. That strong, driving work ethic is part of my personality, even though I do idleness really well. (My husband can’t handle idleness.) Work fulfills a deep-seated need to contribute and be productive. It’s a need I don’t really see in younger generations; however, I suspect every generation before mine thought the same thing about my generation.

So, what type of work do I seek?

I primarily look for editing gigs. I enjoy working with authors to improve their writing. Editing a book manuscript is my happy place. That’s where I excel.

There’s a certain pleasure in helping an author improve his or her written content. The trick is to do so without overwriting the author’s distinctive and unique voice. That becomes extra tricky when an author dwells overmuch in passive voice or “telling” mode. I must fight the inclination to rewrite entire paragraphs to suit my idea of what should be there and restrict myself to margin comments and small refinements to guide the author’s own revision.

Editing and rewriting are not the same.

I do accept rewriting projects, something others call book doctoring. In this sort of project, the author provides drafted content and I rewrite it, expand upon it, and improve it so it’s fit for public consumption. This gets invoiced at a higher rate than editing.

I also seek out writing projects. I ghostwrite fiction and nonfiction, but not the same kind of documents. For nonfiction, I’ll write blogs and articles. I conduct fast, laser-focused research to write with authority and intelligence on diverse topics. For fiction, just about anything goes, but I don’t write scripts or screenplays. There’s a bourgeoning industry of online, somehow interactive stories that run as strings of text messages. They’re primarily geared toward teens and young adults and are filled with hyperbole and melodrama. They’re not my style and I don’t do those either; I’m probably just too old or old fashioned for them.

When ghostwriting fiction—these are difficult-to-get projects, and I excel at those, too—I expand my repertoire beyond my normal fiction writing tendencies (romance, fantasy, westerns). I’ve worked on a fictionalized biography, young adult fantasy, mystery, and historical drama. A few have been screenplay-to-novel adaptations. These projects are great fun, and I’d love to get more of them.

As I edge closer to retirement, I also become more choosy in the projects I bid on and accept. The past decade has been instructive in teaching me what I do best and what I prefer most—and I tend to do my very best work when I work on what I prefer most. I don’t apply for everything that comes my way; I don’t accept everything either.

That’s the advantage of age and experience: I know what I do best and I’m happy to do it. I’m no longer exploring different career avenues because I’ve found my groove. It doesn’t mean I’m complacent or averse to learning new things or refining my skill, but it does mean that I bring enormous experience and sharp, spot-on instincts to every project I tackle.

And, really, isn’t that the benefit every grandmother brings?